August 12, 2003

Click on a target below to learn more about each company, including links to articles specific to the target

Acacia Research Page

USA Video Page

SightSound Page
Target Acquired:
Broad patent claims over downloading/streaming of audio/video files

There are a multitude of patents that have been approved by the US Patent Office that focus on Streaming Audio and Video. Most of the patents are ones that are specific to how a company has created technology. No problem with these kinds of patents. What's of serious concern is there are a handful of patents that make very broad claims to actually patenting the concept of digital audio/video and streaming audio/video.

Acacia Research surfaced last year with their sights clearly set on ANY website that utilized streaming audio and video that they need to license their patent or stop using streaming audio/video. While Adult Content (porn) websites are obvious choices for enforcing their patents over distribution of digital audio/video files, including streaming audio/video, their targets also include universities and schools.

Acacia is not the only company holding patents and attempting to extend them into a broader scope. holds atleast 2 patents and are currently suing CDNow/BMG. Their patents cover the sale of digital audio/video files over the internet. Their patents are based on someone paying for the item, so free downloads don't fall into their patent claims, but they could try to stretch their patents by saying that members of a website that pay a monthly fee could be construed as violating their patents.

USA Video is sueing and claims ownership to the idea of downloading videos from a (web) server! More on Page 2.

This website will present information and news to bring attention to an issue that affects us all. Once you understand how serious these issues are, you may find yourself wanting to help fight against these patents. As indiviuals, you can make a difference. You could help find the "prior art", the evidence that proves that broad patent claims are invalid.

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